First Steps to Spiritual Growth
Welcome to the Family of God!
"But as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name."
-- John 1:12
Great joy takes place in Heaven when a person turns from sin to the Savior, Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us there is a great celebration by the angels when a sinner repents (turns from sin) (Luke 15:10).
What follows are the first steps to growing spiritually as a new follower of Jesus.
Read the Bible
God's Word, the Bible, contains reveals what God is like, what He thinks, and how He relates with humans, and it contains over 40,000 promises for you from God. The way to discover more about God and His promises is to read and study the Bible.
Take the Bible Challenge. Begin reading and studying at least one chapter every day in the Bible. A great place to start is the Gospel of John. It is the fourth book in the New Testament (a little over 2/3 the way through most Bibles). The chapters in John are short, easy to read, and simple to understand. Keep a pen handy to underline any verses that are especially meaningful to you, and you can place question marks in the margin of your Bible for questions that you would like to discuss with another Christian.
"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby."
-- 1 Peter 2:2
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
-- Psalm 119:105
Spend time each day in prayer talking with God. Prayer is our direct communication line to God in Heaven. You can and should pray about everything. There is no right or wrong way to pray. If you struggle with prayer, write God a letter. One idea is to start a prayer journal. Below are four areas you may want to pray through each day:
Adoration is simply adoring God in worship. This is not because God has a big ego and wants to hear how wonderful He is. Adoration and worship is to remind us how big God is. God has many attributes, and this is a time when you can think about and worship His greatness, power, might, wonder, omnipresence, grace, love, and kindness - just to name a few. Choose a different one each day and meditate on an attribute of God. Bible Helps: Exodus 15:1-2; 1 Samuel 2:1-2; 2 Samuel 22:47-51; 1 Kings 8:23-24; Psalm 27:4, 63:2-5, 73:25-26, 84:1-2, 103:1-5; Revelation 4:8-11, 5:8-14, 7:9-12, 15:3-4, 19:6-8; Proverbs 5:18-19
Confession is asking God for forgive any sin or shortcoming in your life. No Christian is perfect, and there will be times in your life when you mess up, think a bad thought, or fail to do something you should have done. Instead of beating yourself up, confess the sin to God, and ask for His forgiveness. This does not mean you should just sin and ask for forgiveness. Part of confession is repentance. If you are continually struggling with a life-dominating sin, get help by asking your pastor, another Christian, and/or a Biblical counselor for help. Bible Helps: 1 John 1:9; James 5:16; Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 32:5; Romans 3:23; Psalm 52; Romans 3:23; Acts 19:18; James 4:17; 2 Peter 3:9; Acts 17:30; John 30:22-23; 1 Corinthians 10:13; John 20:19-24
Thanksgiving shows appreciation to God for all that He has done, is doing, and will do in your life. Sometimes, we express thanks by faith, especially when we are facing struggles in life. Paul, one who wrote a large part of the New Testament, tells us to "not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6)." Thankgiving builds contentment in your life. Bible Helps: Psalm 28:7, 69:30, 95:1-6; 107:29-32, 34:1, 100:4; 2 Chronicles 16:8; Colossians 2:6-7; 1 Chronicles 16:34; Jonah 2:9; Ephesians 5:3-4; Colossians 3:15; 1 Timothy 4:4-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Supplication is presenting your requests to God. You can pray for others, and you can pray for yourself. You can pray for your church, your community, your nation, and your boss. If you are not sure what to pray for, ask God to help you. That's okay too. Bible Helps: Philippians 4:6; Romans 8:26; Ephesians 6:18; Acts 1:14; 2 Chronicles 6:19; 1 Kings 8:28; Psalm 55:1; 1 Kings 8:54; 2 Chronicles 6:35; 1 Kings 8:45, 49
Worship God regularly in a church that teaches you the Bible, and I invite you to be our guest at South Bay Bible Church this Sunday morning at 9:00 or 11:00 a.m. Worship is vital to spiritual growth. God seeks people that worship Him, and the Bible clearly teaches the benefits and blessings of worship.
"Jesus said, 'Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshiper will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.'"
-- John 4:23
"I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth."
-- Psalm 34:1
There are two important means of worship: (1) baptism and (2) the Lord's Supper.
Baptism: Baptism is the sign that believers give to the world regarding our personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ. All Christians are commanded to be baptized. For more information on baptism, CLICK HERE.
The Lord's Supper: Jesus gave instructions to the disciples that the Lord's Supper was to be practiced in remembrance of me. It is a time of reflection upon the great sacrifice the Lord Jesus made for us. The broken bread reminds us of His physical body that was wounded for us. The cup we drink is a reminder of His blood that He shed for us. We celebrate the Lord's Supper the first Sunday of every month, and we invite you to join us for this special time in the church.
Fellowship with other Christians will help you grow in your faith. Fellowship is the activity where followers of Jesus Christ gather together to encourage one another in the areas of spiritual growth. The story of the earliest Christians recorded in the Bible tell us how crucial fellowship is for our lives.
"The devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship,
to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
-- Acts 2:42
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
-- Hebrews 10:24-25
We encourage fellowship through our Community Groups. It's like putting your spiritual life on steriods. For more information about Community Groups and fellowship within the church, CLICK HERE.
Witnessing is sharing the joy of your salvation with others. It is to your benefit to do this. "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10:9-10)."
It is to the benefit of others that you do this too. Family members and friends need to know how to receive the gift of eternal life. In the Bible, after a man named Andrew met Jesus, his first response was to get his brother Peter and introduce him to Jesus. "Andrew ... was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon (Peter) and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah' (that is, the Christ) (John 1:40-41)."
If you have made a decision to follow Jesus, please let us know by clicking the New Believer Form below. We would like to send you some FREE resources to help and encourage you along your new journey.